Skylab Architecture is a Portland based design firm specializing in contemporary architecture and interior design. Founded in 1999 on the ideal of designing environments that create lasting effects on the natural and built worlds, Skylab continues to thrive today. The firm is behind a number of high-profile projects including the W Hotel in Seattle, Nike’s Camp Victory pop up in Eugene, and the Summit Village at Powder Mountain, Utah.
Skylab refit the Blackbox Building, a 1916 historical building located at the corner of SW 13th Ave and Burnside, to be a boutique commercial hub of the neighborhood and serve as their new headquarters. As a part of their work, they used Krownlab’s Baldur sliding door hardware and Inger and Ebba door pulls.
Today, local fashion brands Solestruck and Tanner Goods are two of the six boutiques occupying the ground floor retail space at Blackbox, while Skylab keeps offices on the second floor.
UNION OF FUNCTION AND DESIGN
Krownlab’s Baldur hardware system is the perfect union between function and design and was a great fit for Skylab’s new space.
“We chose to feature Krownlab in our studio because we love the minimalistic expression of precision engineering,” said Skylab Principal Architect, Jeff Kovel.
Both of Skylab’s conference rooms and Kovel's office feature Baldur sliding door systems. With four-inch diameter, unsealed bearings, and a patented hubless design, Baldur adds a contemporary element to the modern interior of Skylab’s offices without sacrificing on performance—a crucial balance. And the wide steel-on-steel contact surface between the bearings and track ensures that doors open and close quietly, a big consideration in an office where the right ambiance and workflow is an important part of getting the job done.
“WE CHOSE TO FEATURE KROWNLAB IN OUR STUDIO BECAUSE WE LOVE THE MINIMALISTIC EXPRESSION OF PRECISION ENGINEERING.”
-JEFF KOVEL, PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT
For their main conference room, Skylab used Inger door pulls in the full-length 90" configuration. The sheer length of Inger in this setup—the rails span the panel from top to bottom—creates a strong integration between the door pulls and the Baldur hardware, while providing a practical ease of use. Precision-manufactured from 300-series stainless steel, the Inger rail-style pull is available in single- or double-sided configurations, is compatible with wood and glass panels, and comes in three distinct sizes.
Skylab’s smaller conference room features low-profile Ebba door pulls in their open configuration. Ebba in this knothole setup allows for a glimpse from one room to another, even when the door is shut. The simplicity of Ebba’s form and function fit well with Skylab’s ethos.
“When you look at the market, Krownlab hardware rises above its competitors because of its uniquely minimal approach to engineering,” said Kovel. “It is rare to find a product that is both technically elegant and restrained.”
Baldur's patented hubless design puts the beauty of the bearing above all else.